Government shutdown: The upside
Protesters call for cuts in federal spending Wednesday on the steps of Capitol Hill.
April 8th, 2011
12:50 PM ET

Government shutdown: The upside

We posted an item here on Thursday on 10 things that could ruin your day if the government shuts down.

Which got us wondering: Is there a silver lining to a shutdown?


– Less traffic. Roads around federal office epicenters in every city would see a noticeable drop in motorists. That’s a good thing. A new study by the Environmental Health Perspectives highlights the link between traffic pollution and brain damage.

– You won’t get audited. While the tax filing deadline is still April 18, a federal shutdown means you can stave off the bean counters – people whose sole purpose is to get you to explain how that monthly Netflix subscription helps your home-based business - at least for a while.

– The White House gift shop will be closed. YIPPEE. You know that miniature flag-striped lapel that can pierce a small organ? We won't be seeing those or that commemorative snow globe your weekend-getaway co-worker erects at their cubicle. Freedom!

– More fish to catch. In Arkansas, anglers will be able to go all out. The Norfolk National Fish Hatchery will release two weeks worth of rainbow and brown trout.

“This would be the week to fish,” Craig Eaton, project leader at the hatchery, told CNN Friday. “We normally release 10 to 14 deliveries a week,” Eaton said. Each delivery contains about 29,000 fish, he said. Do the math. That's a boatload of fish. Can you say reel deal?

– Bankruptcy deferred. About to go bankrupt? Not after Friday. Federal bankruptcy court will be running largely in name only. The online filing system will be up and running but federal buildings will likely be closed.

– More electricity to go around. With average consumption larger than some states, Washington bureaucrats obviously don't know how to cut off the lights when they leave the office. A shutdown means less strain on the power grid.

Anything we forgot? What else can be considered an upside to the federal shutdown?

Post by:
Filed under: Budget • Economy • Finance
soundoff (532 Responses)
  1. Matt A

    Can't you see – Uncle Sam has you right where he wants you ....Can' live without 'em.

    Rise against "the man" and you wont get your benefits – we are to dependant on Gov't

    April 8, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Shelly B

    I don't agree with military service people not getting their checks. Especially those serving in a war zone. If there is a bright side for me it's that this will continue to increase the value of silver and gold ounces where I'm heavily invested.

    April 8, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  3. wabina

    ....and speaking of the connection between air pollution and brain damage...we won't be hearing any more of that kind of thing because the republicans want to close the EPA......we don't need to protect the environment, it's doing so well...just ask sarah...there isn't any global warming to worry about.....shame on all of them.....they just want to get reelected......and I guess they don't think we know that.....

    April 8, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Randy

    What the f is a shut down for a few days going to prove..nothing. It just ends up costing us more in the long run.
    BTW, I agree with Dan. That sign reeks of low IQ.
    You gotta pay to play.

    April 8, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Matt A

    Bring on Trumph!!! Tell em all to go F-off

    April 8, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  6. liz

    Are you going to pay for my childs daycare while I get a job? I take care of my husbands pay, finding ways to cut back and budget. Works both ways when you lose job and can't pay all your bills just get off your keester and get another job

    April 8, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      The days of being a stay-st-home-mom are long over. If you can't feed 'em, don't breed 'em.

      April 8, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • soldier if your husband gets laid off, then take off your keester and get a job!!

      April 8, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • liz

      And it isn't just military families affected. Were ppl this ruthless and mean when ppl started losing jobs because of the recesion? Its called COMPASSION

      April 8, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • liz

      That's the problem he is still required to go work do u not read the news?

      April 8, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • soldier

      You're right, it's not about just military families, so stop highlighting that you're a military spouse! you're a single income household, and your one income is in jeopardy, so GET A JOB!

      April 8, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • liz

      I never said were military my husband works for the government I just hope ppl are much nicer to you when you are in need of help. Don't let it bother you have a better rest of the day

      April 8, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • soldier

      starting off your statement with "are you going to pay for my child's daycare while I get a job?" is moronic. there are millions of single mothers that work and take care of their children, or didn't you know?? atleast you have a husband who has a potential paycheck coming if you want to talk about compassion, why don't you show some for those who are struggling a whole lot harder than I'm sure you're struggling, and stop making moronic statements.

      April 8, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • liz

      Alex- can't feed em don't breed em lol its true but I think if everyone waited till they had plenty of money the population would greatly diminish. Lol

      April 8, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  7. KEHinNC

    Too bad we can't stop paying Federal Taxes during the shutdown period.

    April 8, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Kim

    Here's an upside to the shut down for thousands of Marylanders who travel to DC to work, like myself....OPEN SEATS ON THE MARC TRAIN and PARKING SPACES AT THE MARC STATIONS.! Shut'er down!

    April 8, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  9. demonfeed

    It's okay, let the Republicans shut it down. They will pay it back at the poles next year. Thanks for inciting the independants into a rage d:D

    April 8, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • demonfeed

      I'm sorry, polls.

      April 8, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • ActnJackson

      Are those the North and South Poles? Or are you making some type of derogatory remark about those of Polish heritage?

      BTW, we vote at the POLLS.

      April 8, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • vbscript2

      The Republicans passed the budget months ago. If it's shutdown, it will be because the Democrats haven't agreed to any of the budget set forth by Republicans long ago. The Dems are calling it "draconian" to cut 1.5% (~$61 B) from a budget that has grown 40% (~ $1,090 B) in only 4 years. It's hardly draconian; it's only barely a small step in the right direction. We need to cut close to a trillion dollars from the budget and then we'd still need some tax increases to close the deficit back to where it was 4 years ago when Dems were complaining about how big it was (at $163B, compared to the present $1,650 B, which they apparently think is ok.)

      April 8, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Pinky

    Wait, I'm confused. If all the politicians are "following their own political agendas" instead of caring about the American people, how did they get elected? Didn't we all vote for the candidate who's political views most closely matched out own? Therefore, aren't the politicians who are barring compromise based on issues that we all care (and vote based on) like women's health funding and environmental conservation, aren't they in fact following OUR non-ficscal political agendas? I think this runs true no matter which side of the fence you're on.

    Also, does it really matter what our politicians do? If they compromise, the politicians who compromised will be chastised come time for re-election because they compromised, and those who don't will get the same treatment for not compromising.

    April 8, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • ActnJackson

      Pinky – you're niave. We voted based on coolest sounding name, or best looking. Remember, we're americans – we don't like to think.

      April 8, 2011 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
  11. poffer

    I won't have a probation officer anymore? That would be nice.

    April 8, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Robert M. Smith, MD, PhD

    Has anybody really thought about what they're fighting over, besides the political crap? They're arguing over a 33Billion difference of opinion. That sounds like a lot of money, but to bring it into perspective if you had a daily expenditure of $100. They're arguing over 89 cents of that . Pretty petty and stupid of ALL POLITICIANS concerned. What country, in their right mind, would want to emulate us? This is childish.
    And for all of you that say shut it down, you're just as stupid. I'm a civilian doctor working for the US Army. Do you have any relatives in the military that you think could get hurt? Whose gonna patch 'em up? You, smart ass.

    April 8, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • ActnJackson

      I think that Greece would LOVE to be in our shoes right now.

      April 8, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • texas pete

      You are right, they should just give me that $33 billion and be done with it.

      April 8, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  13. ar

    No government = no pointless marijuana possession arrests, no subsidies for unprofitable businesses, no government enforcing business cartels in the airline, gas, travel and a number of other industries...

    April 8, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Seriously?

      Marijuana arrests? The war on drugs has fallen to the states for a long time now buddy. Go outside and roll up a big spliff, see if the police don't arrest you and you don't get convicted through your district court.

      April 8, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      Don't forget that there will be no infrastructure repair or creation, no judicial process as we know it, no common sense in your comment...

      April 8, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  14. QnhBsm

    Shut it down. Shut it all down. Leave it down. Leave it all down.

    April 8, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Marsha Mars

    It is very sad to read some of these people enjoying others misfortune. Those who complain that people who don't have 6 months of money put away – or suggest that military families – if they can't survive w/o funds should find another job, etc. - Things don't always turn out the way you plan. It is PEOPLE like SAM and VIKING138 who are destroying our country by their reckless HATE toward their fellow human beings. Most of you have no CLUE what the government does for you – I am not saying it is perfect but you really have no clue.

    April 8, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      You're right. We HAVE no clue. And, THIS is what scares the hell out of me.

      April 8, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
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